Sunday, Oct. 6, 2002

Contact: Bill Papendick, 415-479-4262

Get ready to run at beautiful Camp Tamarancho. This Boy Scout camp, located at the top of Marin County, offers BIG vistas of Mt. Tamalpais, Mt. Diablo, San Francisco Bay, Loma Alta, and sweeping views of Marin. The terrain is mixed with oak forest, and open, steep grassland, fir forest, redwoods and ferns. The trail network moderate and a little unkempt.

We will offer seven premarked courses: White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue. Registration opens at 9:00 am. Starts will be from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Course Statistics

Course             Controls              Length            Climb              Difficulty 

Blue               12                    5125m             475m               Extremely hard 
Red                11                    4750m             405m               Very hard 
Green              12                    3275m             275m               Hard                
Brown               8                    2625m             210m               Challenging    
Orange             12                    3575m             255m               Long Intermediate 
Yellow             10                    1975m             155m               Knowable Beginner    
White              10                    1950m             110m               Beginner 



The map was field checked by George Kirkov last summer of 2000. This is the third year for this map. Some corrections have been made to fine-tune the map. The maps will be scaled at 1:10000 with 5-meter contours. The advance courses, Brown, Green, Red, Blue, and Orange will be e-punch with backup manual punches.

The terrain is woodland, ridge and valley terrain typically found in Northern California. Many of the reentrants and hillsides are forested with fir, redwood and madrone trees. The terrain can be steep, and the grassy slopes very slippery.

There are varying forms of low vegetation. Some areas indicated on the map as dark green are low lying brush, sage or chaparral that appears to be navigable, however the brushes take over and it becomes most difficult to maneuver.

The climb ratio is higher than standard. The course lengths are about 20% to 40% shorter than standard to compensate for the climb. This was the trade off to set courses in this beautiful park.

The trail network is moderate. There are many unmapped animal paths in the area. We have added a few well- beaten trials around the heavily used area of the Camp.

The maintenance shed and yard are mark as an out of bounds area.

Green X's on the map represent living distinct trees, normally but not always a large fir tree. This tree has significant characteristics not common to other trees in the forest, be it extra tall or has extra girth: in other words, a grand and magnificent specimen. The control description is the copse symbol. Green Circles on the map represent a living group or clump of trees or bushes that are distinct from the surrounding vegetation.

Blue X's on the map are water faucets. Do not use the ones marked with a red sign "non-potable" Water will be conveniently located on the course at various control locations.

The campground areas have large wooden platforms and picnic tables used for camping. These are temporary structures that are moved for year to year. These are not marked on the map. Permanent structures such has A-frames, fire pits, and the like are indicated by a black symbol, X, O or rectangle. Many of the hillsides are quite steep. The use of spiked or cleated shoes is recommended to avoid sliding.

Poison Oak and Ticks

Poison Oak is prevalent, but not very potent in October. This time of year most of the leaves have fallen leaving Poison Oak in the form of bare sticks growing from the ground or wrapped around trees or bushes. You can still catch PO from rubbing against these sticks and they can be hard to avoid. A few large bushes may still have red or green leaves on them but they are easily recognizable and avoidable. We have done our best to stay away from the worst PO but, unfortunately all courses will encounter varying degrees of it. Avoid catching an itchy rash by taking the following precautions:

1. Use full body cover.   
2. Learn to identify PO so you can avoid it.     
3. Scrub with Technu soon after completing your course.    
4. Wash your shoes and clothes after each day's event.  

For more information see the Troop 5 Poison Oak website at http://www.troop5psc.com/PoisonOak/DillonOak.html

This area is Tick habitat. Please inspect yourself and your clothes after leaving the woods.

The safety outlet is the major fire protection roads or vehicle tracks. Good luck and have fun. Enjoy the view and the big trees. By Bill Papendick


From Highway 101 in Marin, take Sir Francis Drake Boulevard until you reach downtown Fairfax. Continue westbound on Sir Francis Drake past downtown for another quarter mile and look for the green highway sign that says "Camp Tamarancho." Turn left at this sign onto Olema Road, and continue to follow the subsequent green camp signs until you reach Iron Springs Road. Head up Iron Springs Road for two miles until it ends at the camp entrance.

Warning: Iron Springs is a narrow, winding, partially paved road with lots of small potholes. A car with normal clearance can make it if driven carefully. Low-riders and sports cars are not advised.

Parking is available at Tamarancho, but it is limited. Carpool if you can. Please back into your parking spot! This is to allow quick exit in the event of fire. Hopefully it wonąt be as hot as last weekend, but it still is dry.